Over Shabbat, I was doing some hard thinking and praying.
As a rule, I’m someone who likes to pin things down, as much as possible, and to leave as little wiggle room as possible when I’m researching things.
I like clear facts, I like strong delineation, I like to know exactly what I’m dealing with.
But, I’m not sure that is the right thing to continue doing with all this genealogy stuff.
I had the thought over Shabbat that maybe, the point has been made strongly enough that each one of us could be related to a saint – or mamash an evildoer.
I don’t know that I need to keep pinning things down at this stage, to make it obvious whose grand-daddy is Jacob Frank, or whose ancestors were actually in the forefront of all the yucky, nasty things that have occurred within the Jewish community.
The point is, for us ALL to stop boasting about yichus, and to start having some humility.
The point is, for us ALL to start working on overcoming our bad middot, and to stop pretending that ‘the problem’ is in some other camp, some other person’s back yard.
The point is, all of us have the potential to become the biggest tzaddik – or the worst sinner.
Regardless of our yichus.
Things might change.
If I get another strong steer in hitbodedut to pick this up again, I will.
But for now, I’m calling a halt to the process of investigation.
And it’s for each one of us to take the message to heart, that the only thing that is required for us to be a tremendous force for good in the world is the will, the ratzon to keep looking ourselves squarely in the face, to keep working on our bad middot, and to speak to God every single day, and to keep asking Him what He wants from us.
And that no-one is ‘better’ than us, just because they can claim descent from a big rabbi.
Especially if their middot are in the toilet.
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